A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #13)

A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #13)

by Charles Todd

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Overview

A breathtaking blend of psychological complexity, haunting atmosphere, compelling twists, and impressive detail, the novels in the Ian Rutledge mystery series have garnered their author widespread acclaim and numerous honors and awards.

Three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of World War I only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths.

But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything to find answers—his job, his reputation, and even his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061726194
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Series , #13
Pages: 343
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Charles Todd is the author of eleven Ian Rutledge mysteries, the first Bess Crawford mystery, and one stand-alone novel. A mother-and-son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.

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A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #13) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
This is the 13th book in the Ian Rutledge series, though you'd have no trouble picking this one up as a stand-alone. A British mystery, set just after WWI, the mother and son writing team called Charles Todd does a great job of transporting readers back in time. Inspector Rutledge is haunted by the war, as are most of the men we encounter. The women are left to deal with husbands who have returned much different than the men they'd married. As readers, we're constantly reminded of the lasting effects of war. This is a slow moving story, as I think most historical mysteries are. We're back in a time long before computers and DNA. Facts trickle in and Rutledge does his best to piece them together. The murder mystery kept me guessing and the characters kept me entertained throughout.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi. Easy reading, fast action. Will read more of inspector Rutledge.
AuthorAshleyDawn More than 1 year ago
Soldiers are being murdered. World War I has not been over long, but it seems someone has a vendetta to settle. Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent to investigate the murders in a small English village. Finding the connection between all three murdered men-other than being soldiers and murdered by a garrote-is a necessity to find to murderer, but it will take a lot of digging on Rutledge's part! Rutledge also has his personal problems to deal with through the whole book. A close, personal friend commits suicide. His love life requires more than he can handle. Hamish, the ghost of a fallen comrade that Rutledge had to put in front of a firing squad for disobeying orders, speaks to him and is both a help and a hindrance to him throughout. Rutledge has a lot of guilt and heavy heartedness over all of this. The long, cold case of Chief Inspector Cummins-now retired-that has haunted him for years was bequeathed to Rutledge along with a warning about his new Chief. This case, 'murder at Stonehenge', pulls at Rutledge and splits his focus. An intriguing addition to the Inspector Rutledge Series that will keep you trapped in its pages! You won't want to put this one down. Reviewed by Ashley Wintters for Suspense Magazine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of the books in the Ian Rutledge series, but this one was something special. The author writes beautifully of the time period (after WWI) and the main character's struggle to continue his life after the horrendous experiences of the most terrible of modern wars. This book has three stories to tell. The first is the major case Rutledge is assigned to - a serial killer in a small English village. A small secondary story is about a much earlier murder that his previous superior could never solve. The author does an excellent job in tying these stories together throughout the book. And the third, even smaller, story is about love and loyalty. Even if you have never read any books in this series don't miss this one.
cameling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When 3 men in the same village in Sussex are garrotted and left with old army tags in their mouths of soldiers in WW1, but there are no witnesses and no weapons, Inspector Rutledge is called in to investigate. Still suffering from PTSD himself and having received news that his best friend had just killed himself, Rutledge isn't long in Sussex before another man is killed in the same fashion, with a similar item left in his mouth too. What could the motive possibly be for killing these men, and can he find the murderer before he kills again?Together with the spirit of Hamish, a soldier he feels responsible for having died in the war, Rutledge tenaciously pieces together whatever clues he can uncover, even when it's clear someone is trying to remove him from the case altogether.
LisaLynne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s always tough to come into a series of books in the middle. I imagine it¿s hard for an author, as well ¿ to make sure that new readers have enough information to understand the story, without boring your longtime readers. A Lonely Deathby Charles Todd does an excellent job of involving you in the ongoing story. It made me want to seek out the rest of the series and add it to my TBR list.A Lonely Death is part of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. Rutledge is a war veteran with a ride-along: he has the voice of one of his soldiers, Hamish, in his head. As I¿m new to the series, it took me a bit to sort out that Rutledge feels a lot of guilt over Hamish¿s death and the voice of his old comrade nags at him, chastises him, scolds him¿and occasionally gives him clues.Chief Inspector Cummins, Rutledge¿s mentor, is retiring, leaving behind the files on a cold case that has nagged at him for years. Sadly, he does not leave Rutledge his office and position, as much as he would like to. Rutledge has made some enemies at the top of the ladder, and they will plague him throughout the book.Someone is murdering men in Eastfield in a particularly gruesome way, a way that seems connected to the war and the Eastfield Company in which some of the men served. Scotland Yard is called in by the well-to-do father of one of the victims, a Mr. Pierce, whose remaining son may be one of the prime suspects. It¿s a complicated and convoluted story with a number of interesting twists. Through it all, Rutledge struggles along with his guilt and the voice of his dead friend for company.I enjoyed this mystery very much and I plan to add some of the earlier books to my reading list. Hamish is an interesting character, but one that I think could become tedious after a time. I¿m not sure how I would react to him over the long term, constantly tormenting the inspector. The same goes for Rutledge¿s feud with Chief Inspector Bowles, back at Scotland Yard. A little conflict is a good thing, but it could easily get to be too much. The secondary plot involving Cummins¿ cold case is a pleasant distraction and a good mix of investigative skill and serendipity.There are 12 other Inspector Rutledge mysteries, so it may take me a while to get caught up. If the library has them on audio, they would make a very pleasant summer¿s listening.
gbelik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked the setting (small town England shortly after WW1), but this was a little bit too procedural for my taste. It seemed to plod along at times. Of its kind, I think it was quite decent, but this isn't my favorite kind of mystery.
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A LONELY DEATH is #13 in the Ian Rutledge series and I am guilty of dipping in and out of the series (see my reviews below). #1, A TEST OF WILLS, was set immediately after the war in 1919 and it does seem that, with A LONELY DEATH, historically we haven't come very far. The story begins in June 1920 and most of the action takes place within a few weeks of that beginning.The Great War is still fresh in people's minds, missing soldiers are still being found in hospitals near the Western Front, and England is still coming to grips with the economic impact of such a terrible loss of manpower. It does seem wrong that soldiers from the Eastland Company, some terribly wounded during the conflict, have survived only to be murdered near their homes. That it is murder can't be doubted. After Rutledge is appointed to the case a fourth murder occurs, but it is only when he begins to toy with the idea of a pre-war connection that progress is made.Even so Rutledge is removed from the case, even gaoled, in mid-stream, by his old enemy, Superintendent Bowles, his superior at Scotland Yard. Bowles dislikes Rutledge, his education, his reputation as a war hero, and his pre-war history as an intuitive clever detective.As with the others from this series that I have read, A LONELY DEATH is a good read, well crafted, with an excellent feeling of authentic detail. There was one thread in particular, the case of a missing elder son, which didn't feel tied off, but maybe I just missed something.Rutledge still has Hamish on his shoulder, the ghost of his court-martialled and executed Corporal, who talks to him and suggests ideas. To Rutledge Hamish is very real, and he often converses with him aloud which must at times be disconcerting for others who can't "see" Hamish. I must admit I was a bit taken aback when Rutledge and other policemen piled into a car to go somewhere and the comment was that there was no room for Hamish in his usual place. I'd be interested to know if a reader, new to the series, perhaps starting with A LONELY DEATH, actually manages to work out who Hamish is.
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Lonely Death is the 13th Inspector Ian Rutledge book put out by the mother and son author team Charles Todd. I had heard about Rutledge before but this was the first one I¿ve been able to read and I have to say I wish I had started sooner! It took me a little while to get into this one because I had no idea who Rutledge was or anything else about him, but by the 4th chapter I was hooked. I think the authors did a good job of balancing cluing in a new reader vs. boring a fan with repetitive back story. Not all series writers do that well. I think this was an excellent mystery/thriller and I highly recommend it.In a sleepy little town of Eastfield near Hastings where nothing has happened since Henry VIII, 3 men who survived the Great War were garroted and an identity disk is left in their mouths. When the son of an influential business man becomes one of the victims, Scotland Yard is called in. It appears someone is exacting revenge for some past wrong, but what that wrong is and who could harbor such hate has everyone baffled and worried.While Rutledge is running around southern England interviewing the men whose names where on the tags a woman in Eastfield had a complaint about his behavior so when he arrived back to continue his investigation he finds he¿s been replaced and told to go back to London. Ian is pretty sure the recall is more political maneuvering to ruin his chances of promotion and less to do with the actual complaint. More smoke clouds the issue as more attacks occur and Ian takes matters into his own hands to find the murderer, and clear his own reputation.
klaidlaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program.I have been following the adventures of Inspector Ian Rutledge since the beginning of the series. This book, like the rest of the series, takes place in the years following the Great War. Todd weaves the stories of those who fought and died in that war into the entire series. In fact, Inspector Rutledge lives with the voice of one of his men in his mind. The voice of Hamish is still important, but I have watched it diminish over the course of the books, as I think it should, because the war continues to move further into the past and those who survived become less consumed by the events of the war. That being said, "A Lonely Death" deals directly and indirectly with the aftermath of the war in its plot--a series of murders in Sussex of men who served together in the war, each found with the identity disc (dog tag) of a different soldier stuffed into his mouth. At the same time there is another murder mystery playing out in the background, a cold case that belonged to Rutledge's friend and mentor at the Yard. Todd weaves this second murder into the story well enough, but I found the conclusion to be a bit contrived and disappointing. At the same time, the twists and turns of the primary storyline is what I expect from Charles Todd. I would recommend this book (or the entire series)to anyone who enjoys British murder mysteries, the inter-war period in England, or just a good page turner. I look forward to continue reading about Inspector Rutledge and the personal/interpersonal issues he has to deal with while attempting to solve tough cases for Scotland Yard.
Copperskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this 13th novel in the atmospheric Ian Rutledge series, Scotland Yard inspector Rutledge is sent to the small town of Eastfield to investigate the brutal murders of three WWI veterans. Rutledge, a veteran himself who still experiences pain and guilt from the war, is accompanied by the voice of fellow soldier, Hamish MacLeod. There are two mysteries here, the second being a cold case from 15 years earlier. Although some aspects seem to stretch the plausible-meter, I was willing to let them go for the sake of an entertaining read. I enjoyed the historical aspects and appreciated seeing a picture of England shortly after WWI and the lingering effects of the war on the soldiers and their loved ones. I was concerned about reading this one after only having read the first four in the series but I think that only at least reading the first is necessary. There were some gaps in my knowledge but the story didn¿t suffer because of it. This is a good solid series and I look forward to going back and catching up with book #5.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charles Todd is a pen name used by the American authors Caroline and Charles Todd. As Charles Todd, they have written thirteen books set in post-World War I England and featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge. Rutledge is secretly suffering from shell shock (inter alia) from the battle of the Somme, and I thought the book provided a perceptive and empathetic look at the agonies of those who participated in that bloodbath. Inspector Rutledge¿s shell shock has an interesting twist, however. He lives with the constant taunting ghostly presence of Hamish MacLeod, a young Scots soldier he was forced to have executed for refusing an order. As his psychiatrist explained to Ian:"You couldn¿t accept that one man¿s death. And so you refused to let him die. He¿s every young soldier you tried to keep alive and failed. He¿s your expression of guilt for that failure, and he will be in your head as long as that guilt lasts. Or until you die and take Hamish MacLeod with you to the grave.¿In A Lonely Death, a captain of artillery whom Rutledge had befriended in the war just killed himself, and it is a struggle for Rutledge not to join him. He often muses that he is glad his pre-war romance never worked out, since he, like so many others who went to the war, came back so damaged, and so unable to communicate what happened to anyone else:"Broken dreams were easier to walk away from than broken lives.¿Many women stayed with their men in spite of everything:"[Rutledge] thought how pity, mistaken for love, could ruin lives.¿In this particular ¿episode¿ (and the first one which I have read), the Inspector is called to investigate the deaths of three men from the village of Eastfield in Sussex. Each was garroted, three days apart, and they all had military ID disks placed in their mouths. Rutledge quickly ascertains that the three served in the war in the same regiment, and is afraid that the others in the town from their company will also be targeted. Discussion: This is an unusual detective procedural for several reasons. One is that, rather than the usual detective foibles, such as alcoholism, Rutledge has a unique condition ¿ PTSD ¿ that is manifested by the constant companionship of a ghost as his ¿partner.¿ The second is that this is clearly a historical procedural. The Rutledge stories are all set in post-World War II England, and the authors have taken great pains to portray the physical and emotional devastation wrought by that war. The mystery in the book, although not uninteresting, seems very secondary to that goal. In particular, the authors exercise skill and empathy in depicting the psychological effects of the fighting. Rutledge¿s mental struggles are rather heartbreaking, and one finds oneself glad he has someone to understand him, even if it¿s only a ghost.Evaluation: This series provides an entertaining way to learn about the devastation wreaked on England and France from World War I and the Great Influenza, which took their toll in unison on the unfortunate populace of Europe. Although this is the thirteenth in the Inspector Rutledge series, I had no trouble picking up who was who and what was going on. Rating: 4/5 Books Featuring Inspector Ian RutledgeA Test of Wills (1996)Wings of Fire (1998) Search the Dark(1999) Legacy of the Dead (2000) Watchers of Time (2001) A Fearsome Doubt (2002) A Cold Treachery (2005) A Long Shadow (2006) A False Mirror (2007) A Pale Horse (2008) A Matter of Justice (2009) The Red Door (2010) A Lonely Death (2011)
donna47 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charles Todd has written his 13th installment in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. Set between World War I and II, this latest book is set in Sussex England where Rutledge has been sent to look into the garrotting deaths of 3 former soldiers. Rutledge must deal with locals who want to hinder his investigation; superiors who are worried that he will make them look bad and Hamish, an internal voice of a soldier whose death Rutledge blames on himself. A secondary mystery ties into the first mystery by looking at the ways we treat our fellow man and how that treatment can come back to haunt us. The book is well written with a good hero, though there is a slight disjointedness to the plot.I have several of the books in the Ian Rutledge series and I am now intriqued to go read the rest of the series.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a perfectly reasonable book that I just couldn't get into. I've always liked PD James' books with their village sort of crimes, but in general I don't like these kinds of books all that much. This is not the fault of this book (which is definitely well-written), just a mismatch between reader and author.
Mooose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The latest in the Ian Rutledge series and a return to what makes the series worth the read. He's sent to a small town to try to find a serial killer while dealing with the higher-ups, Hamish and his past. We learn a little more about Ian the man, it's not just all crime-solve crime.
jzdro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yikes! Another series not to be missed! I, and my job list, are in serious trouble.There is a lot of borrowing here from Dorothy Sayers.There are also many things that are realistic fakes, such as brands of ale, and First World War poets, English villages. So you run off to google them and come up empty-handed.The characters are compelling, though, and that's the main thing. The language and the pacing of the story are quite good.The claim is that this is the work of a mother-son writing team. That's a stretch, I say, speaking as a Mom. If it's true, well then, good for them.
marta88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favorite book in this series so far. Inspector Rutledge solves the crime (again) in spite of his struggles with shell shock, animosity from his boss, and a possible new love interest. I just like the guy! I enjoyed the story and it kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. While you don't have to read any of the other books in the series to understand Inspector Rutledge's character (or to enjoy the story), it might be more interesting if you read the first one in order to have a more in-depth sense of who he is. I can't wait for the next one!
-Cee- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading Charles Todd¿s new Ian Rutledge mystery, "A Lonely Death" is like walking with trepidation down a winding and shadowy country road ¿ and not so lonely! There are enough curves, twists, dark passages, and stumbles to make this story interesting and sometimes suspenseful. A serial killer is on the loose in a small town in England (early 1900s) and the first order of business is to find the connection among the victims. Misdirection and time constraints put pressure on Rutledge to find the killer before more good young men die. Of course, his own career and mortal life are in danger too!Having read several of the earlier Rutledge mysteries, I find this one is not disappointing. A typical good read from Todd. More than merely who-dunnit stories, this series encompasses historical WW I experiences and the post war psychological battles of traumatized soldiers. Suffering guilt feelings of failed leadership and shell shock from his service in the war our hero, Rutledge, is working through personal emotions that bring him to the brink of ending it all. A strong character sensitive to others, Rutledge continues to struggle with romantic love, inner courage, clear thinking, and relationships with co-workers.There are several storylines here ¿ some continuing from previous books in the series. The voice in Rutledge¿s head of a dead soldier, Hamish, cannot be ignored and at times creates an edgy state of mind. The strong control Rutledge uses to repress his own powerful emotions is also his defense against Hamish¿s mental interference. The relationship between the two seems to have evolved from being antagonistic and hurtful to a more cooperative partnership over the course of the series. A sign, I believe, of slow but steady healing. Rutledge¿s desire to pursue a romance is leading him down a rocky path he may have to abandon. He also has a few close friends with grave issues. A natural inclination to respond to their needs diverts his attention and simultaneously helps him to pull all the pieces of his mysterious killer and the past together. A very tidy and complete ending.Recommended.
karen_o on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't read all of the entries in Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge series -- the first two or three and the twelfth, which was The Red Door. I'd rather thought that after that one I probably wouldn't bother with any more so I have to say, first, that I'm very glad the Library Thing Early Reviewers program has changed my mind on that score.A Lonely Death was a significant improvement over the last volume in the series and well worth the time for anyone who enjoys either this series or British mysteries in general. I'll be looking forward to the next one.
mmadamslibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great entry in the Charles Todd Inspector Rutledge series. I did feel the secondary story line of the long unsolved murder was not really as well done as others have been, but still an enjoyable read.
delphimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ian Rutledge must go to a Sussex village to investigate several deaths of men who served in WWI. The Todds provide many undercurrents such as an old case for a retiring chief inspector, Ian's hopes of love and promotion, and childhood pranks. Ex soldiers are being garroted by a lone killer, and the police cannot find the killer. When a fellow policeman is almost killed, Ian is arrested and spends time in jail. But Ian's problems are not only the murders. Ian loses two friends: one to suicide and one to an early death. The mother and son team do a superb job with characters and setting.
MmeRose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the usual good story about Inspector Rutledge.If you are a fan of the series, you'll enjoy it.However, the authors have included an incident which relies on a very large coincidence. I found it not only implausible, but unnecessary to the novel. It bothers me - the reason for only 3 stars.
allenkl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery but it will not be my last. Someone is garroting former WWI soldiers and leaving identity disks in their mouths. Rutledge, who is still suffering the effects of what was then called shell shock, is sent to the small village to investigate. A most effective addition to the story is the character Hamish, a dead soldier whose voice is constantly in Rutledge's head. While Rutledge ordered the execution of Hamish for refusing to follow orders, in the end his dead body saves Rutledge's life. The book was a peg turner for me.
Nextian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"A Lonely Death" is the thirteenth book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery series. It turned out to be an unlucky number for me. This is the first Rutledge Mystery I have read and therein may lie the problem. I found Inspector Rutledge himself to be a rather flat character with nothing but an overactive guilty conscience to give him any depth. The newer cast members were a little more interesting because the author had to develop them from scratch. They still had a bit of a "stock character" feel to them however. The writing style of the story itself was somewhat choppy and did nothing to keep my attention. Since this is the thirteenth book in the series, I'm sure many will find "A Lonely Death" enjoyable. I however am not among them.
markon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is another solid entry in Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge series, set in England in the years following World War I. The book opens and closes with the death of two of Rutledge's friends, one by suicide and one from the long-term effects of gas in the war, and the depiction of the losses and changes coming home to England post war continues.The main action concerns the murders of several war veterans from a village in Sussex. Scotland Yard has been brought in at the request of a local business owner, who is afraid his remaining son may be suspected by a local police officer. Due to a mis-step with the local schoolmistress, Rutledge is recalled to London by Superintendent Bowles and replaced by Inspector Mickelson, who promptly makes an arrest. But does he have the right man?I enjoyed the book, with one quibble - the interaction between Rutledge and Mrs. Channing seems a bit forced; particularly her confession/explanation of her actions & attitudes toward Rutledge.